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Bridgeport Native Receives Heart Transplant On Valentine's Day

John Pesavento of Bridgeport with his daughter, Kristen, left, and his wife, Ruth, right, before his heart transplant surgery Sunday at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
John Pesavento of Bridgeport with his daughter, Kristen, left, and his wife, Ruth, right, before his heart transplant surgery Sunday at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Photo Credit: Yale-New Haven Hospital

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A 60-year-old Bridgeport man who needed a heart transplant received a special gift this Valentine’s Day.

John Pesavento learned early Sunday that he would be receiving the donor heart he needed after a year of waiting. The surgery was completed at Yale-New Haven Hospital on Sunday evening.

Pesavento was diagnosed with stage-end heart failure after complications from a heart attack he suffered 20 years ago. He has been on a left ventricle assist device for 18 months and had been on the heart transplant recipient list for a year.

The only information on the donor heart was that it came from northern New England.

A team at Yale-New Haven Hospital set up and performed the six-hour surgery. The hospital released the following statement on the transplant:

“Everyone, from the doctors here at YNHH as well as the recipient’s family are grateful to those who made this heart available for Mr. Pesavento,” said Dr. Pramod Bonde. “We know that available hearts come about only because another family has experienced loss.

"When hearts become available and we are able to save a life, we have to act quickly. But it is because of the thoughtfulness of the donor that we are able to give this new heart to Mr. Pesavento."

Yale-New Haven Hospital took the opportunity to encourage others to be organ donors.

"We encourage others to consider the gift of life when possible," Bonde said. "While every day is a great day to save a life with a heart transplant, perhaps there is no better day than Valentine’s Day.”

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